The Retired Racehorse Project’s Thoroughbred Makeover kicks off today at Pimlico Racecourse in Maryland, and eventers will take center stage all weekend to promote second careers for off-track Thoroughbreds. A lengthy eventing demo will take place Sunday afternoon starting at 4 p.m. EST, starting with Laine Ashker and Anthony Patch, who will show of their dressage skillz and jumping prowess.
Jennie Brannigan, who has been galloping racehorses for Michael Matz to up the ante with her fitness for eventing, will jump cross country fences in her exercise saddle to demonstrate how riding with short stirrups on the track has helped her as an event rider. She’ll also give insight into what it’s like to switch back and forth between eventing and racing.
Michelle Craig will also participate in the eventing demo with Nap for Sycamore, a 16-year-old OTTB who raced 30 times, evented at the Advanced level for six years with Michelle’s husband and will now be taking her to the CCI* at Virginia Horse Trials this fall.
And, last but not least, Phillip Dutton and Icabad Crane, one of the Thoroughbreds vying for the win in this year’s makeover, will demonstrate what the horse has learned since beginning his training at True Prospect Farm earlier this year. Icabad is also competing at Training level this weekend at Morven Park before heading to the makeover — maybe he’ll have a shiny blue ribbon to show off!
There’s a jam-packed schedule that runs through Sunday, so be sure to check out the full lineup of events by clicking here. If you go Sunday, try to make it in time for the 10:30 a.m. EST Trainer’s Forum, where Lainey will join the 10 trainers in the Thoroughbred Makeover — including Phillip — to answer questions about re-training OTTBs.
Tickets for the event are $40 for the full weekend or $25 each for Saturday and Sunday admission, and discounted tickets are available for OTTB enthusiasts under the age of 18. Click here to purchase tickets.
Can’t make it to Pimlico to watch? Bloodhorse.com will be live streaming the event, during which you all will have the chance to vote for the big winner of the Thoroughbred Makeover, which includes a $10,000 grand prize. The first round of voting is still open — with Phillip and Icabad holding the lead — so click here to cast your vote if you haven’t already.